Diversification will help economy bounce back

With economic diversification showing signs of bringing the desired results, the Sultanate is confident of improving its economic situation by this year-end, said Darwish bin Ismaeel al Balushi, Minister Responsible for Financial Affairs.
Speaking to the Observer, he said: “The economic scenario in the Sultanate will improve. A positive result is expected this year-end.”
He said the country’s economic scenario is going to improve for various reasons. “The change in oil prices, which is better compared with last year, tops the list.”
He said the expectations are “realistic and based on facts and figures”. “We will see some advanced economic activity as a result of implementation of these diversification projects.”
Oman is pushing hard the diversification of five sectors that are of top priority in the five year plan. These include tourism, fisheries, minerals and mining, logistics and SMEs.

Efforts of the government will see fruition by end of this year, he said.
“The Tanfeedh workshop held last November laid the foundation for the implementation of diversification plans.”
One of the results of the diversification programmes, according to Darwish, is the Duqm Petrochemicals and Refinery, which has already shown the signs of fruition. “There are so many of such results on the anvil and time will prove the impact of these programmes.”
Dwelling on the alternative energy initiative, Darwish said it will reduce the burden on the general budget, especially gas consumption for power production.
The cost of solar energy is 45 baisas and lasts for over a year despite the high cost at present as the government continues to subsidise electricity.
He said the national renewable energy initiative is an alternative that can benefit citizens since the cost of renewable energy, especially solar, has been decreasing.

By Kabeer Yousuf